Landing Page Guidelines: Design That Adds Credibility

Design aesthetically pleasing landing pages

Visitors instantly judge your credibility by the way your site looks. They decide to stay or leave within 10 seconds of visiting your website. Ten seconds – that’s how long it takes to run the look of your site through their mental filters and determine whether you are worth their time.

The Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, a think tank, and Makovsky & Company, a New York-based public relations agency, surveyed more than 1,600 people from the U.S. and Europe about website credibility. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Pop-up ads were regarded harshly, seriously damaging the perceived credibility of the site.
  • One of the surest ways to create a credible site is to arrange the site in a way that makes sense to the users.
  • One of the surest ways to lose credibility is to make it difficult to navigate.
  • The researchers compiled six overall design implications, each of which will help boost a website’s credibility.
  • Add value to each Web visit (fresh content, quick responses to customer questions, search capabilities, printer-friendly pages and contact information).
  • Guard the integrity of your content. (High marks to site content that identified its sources and provided its authors’ credentials.)
  • Make it simple to get around. A site’s navigational system can directly impact perceptions of credibility.
  • Appearances matter (a clear link between solid design and site credibility).
  • Make sure everything works. Broken links and unexpected downtime received some of the lowest marks.
  • Watch your reputation and your affiliations. A company’s standing in the real world impacts the credibility of its website.


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For examples of good landing pages, visit You’ll see thumbnails of dozens of websites in a variety of categories. Every site is rated so you can see which designs are good or bad.

Keep in mind your main objectives: a professional look, without clutter, that’s easy to navigate.


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